At the age of 14, Oakley S. Walker, the inventor of the electromagnetic chuck and founder of the O.S. Walker Company, had earned $100, enough to buy his liberty from his uncle and strike out on his own.
Walker served as a machinist’s apprentice, a railroad brake tester, and finally an inventor and tool designer. In 1896 he launched his own manufacturing business, a one-man shop in a rented factory. Today, 125 years after its founding, Mr. Walker’s vision has become Walker Magnetics, a premier manufacturer of magnetic products that has installations in over 100 countries. Recently, Industrial Magnetics, Inc. purchased substantially all of the assets of Walker Magnetics.
Walker Magnetics designs and manufactures industrial magnetic products using permanent, electro-permanent and electromagnetic technologies for workholding, lifting, material handling, scrap magnets and separation. Walker’s lifting magnets are commonly used in steel mills, scrap yards, loading docks, warehouses, foundries, shipyards, and coil steel and pipe distributors. Today, Walker provides magnetic solutions for a vast range of practical industry challenges – including the milestone of the first human-machine interface for cutting table applications. The company has taken careful steps to best position itself to continue the revival of American manufacturing for the domestic machine tool, scrap, steel, mining and recycling industries.
Walker Magnetics’ lifting solutions are durable industrial magnets built to last for years. Its lifting magnets are useful for moving bar stock, plates, pipe, hot steel, coils, billets, structural, rails, scrap, and more- with each magnet performing under often challenging industrial conditions. Its reliable scrap magnets are used in scrap yards, railroad operations, automotive plants and a range of other industries where a safe, durable solution for moving scrap and other types of metal is crucial.
“Walker has prospered for 125 years by continuously researching the best ways to provide safe, effective and efficient industrial magnets to the companies that need them,” said Dennis O’Leary, chief business development officer for Industrial Magnetics, Inc. “We are always seeking innovative ways to solve problems and improve performance with magnets. This is as rewarding to us as we imagine it was for Mr. Walker back in 1896. It’s wonderful to be part of this anniversary celebration for a true American success story.”